AN AMERICAN citizen was arrested on Thursday, December 27, for allegedly taking the luggage owned by two Korean nationals at the Clark International Airport.
Julio Cesar Sanchez, 35, was positively identified from the airport’s CCTV footage as the suspect who took the Koreans’ luggage.
He was arrested by combined security personnel of the CIAC security department, Aviation Security Unit of the Philippine National Police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
Jaime Alberto Melo, president of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), said Sanchez was arrested after two Korean nationals, identified as Jo Seungcheol, 28, and Cha Gunmin, 14, reported to their airline and the CIAC Passenger Assistance Desk that they lost their luggage.
"Security and safety are our utmost consideration here at Clark airport,” Melo said, adding that the state-of-the-art CCTV equipment at the airport were crucial in immediately solving the incident.
The Koreans are students at the SMEAG Global School, Inc. and arrived at Clark aboard a JinAir flight also from Incheon on December 24.
“Our CCTV footages determined the suspect as a male and bearded Caucasian with a black cap who picked up two black-colored luggage at the conveyor area. Another CCTV angle was also able to capture the plate number of the suspect’s vehicle upon leaving the airport premises,” Melo said.
Sanchez arrived aboard an Asiana Airlines flight from Incheon, South Korea on December 24.
The suspect was traced to have stayed at the Royal Apartelle in Angeles City and an airport security officer managed to convince the hotel manager to reveal the suspect's room number.
Upon apprehension, Sanchez confessed that he purposely took the two luggage from the conveyor because he “disliked Koreans.”
The suspect, currently detained at the CIDG station in Angeles City, said he is willing to compensate for all the missing items that were in the luggage.